Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Beauty Of Visualized Flow Control

A confession to make here. As unwinding from relentless information overload is as necessary as breathing is... Well... Lets just say that, if you spend as much time as I now, looking into and feeling, the "Infosphere" as I do, you would be just as thankful for games like Factoria (not to mention other strategy game types like Civilization V, SimCity, Cities XL, and, to a lesser degree, Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance, Endless Legend, Subnautica, Stellaris, and Fear Equation... Just to name the few I'd had a chance to come by up to now) as I am.

Don't get me wrong, immersion, action oriented games like Skyrim, Eve Online, or Elite: Dangerous (again, to just mention a few), have their place. Thoughtful, immersively beautiful, and action in a more direct context. It's just for a guy who used to make his living on figuring out useful, if not also always elegant, solutions to better process flow, Factoria has a special place.

And if you want to watch wonderfully skilled folks, like JdGames featured here for instance, apply clever utilization of the tools at hand to accomplish highly leveraged process flow, you are in for a treat. This is truly great stuff, and it's a credit to the game's designers that they included so many tools that allow for the placement of what are, essentially, very basic programming elements; as in "conditional switching," "Loops," "aggregation," and "subtraction."

If you want to spend a pleasing amount of time, in what is a very interesting combination of both logic, and system elegance (if done right of course), play this game, or just try watching it be done, for that matter, because that's not only fun, you can learn a lot in the process.

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